Clint Naylor: I feel a lot stronger once again. I was in the gym a lot – basically every day. That was the goal – to get bigger and stronger again. I was lucky enough to have that happened and I can tell the difference.
Mainly, it is for hitting. I am getting more pop, more power. Those balls I just hit I can get base hits out of and add some extra base hits.
Even with catching, throwing down to second – it helps out. I worked on that a lot too. Defense is number one but it all helps out.
In 2007, you got stronger as well but seemed to get away from some of your strengths with your batting eye. It appeared that you were over aggressive.
Clint Naylor: That is probably true. The first year I played, I missed a lot of pitches I should have hit. Last year, I overcompensated for that and chased a lot of stuff and got away from what I was trying to do myself. You get caught up in the moment. This year, I have focused and know what I have to do.
How easy is that? It is almost a mental game with yourself.
Clint Naylor: Totally. It is all mental. You wonder why you are struggling and then think, ‘What am I doing wrong?' After the season is over you are like, ‘What an idiot. That is what I was doing.' That is the way it goes.
How do you take your game to the next level?
Clint Naylor: I have to come out and hit. If I come out hitting – be good behind the plate and get some knocks and see where it takes me.
It is sometimes rough being a catcher and losing out on some of the hitting stuff while your responsibilities are focused on defense and calling games.
Clint Naylor: It is a bit tough being a catcher. I feel pretty good at the plate. Take what you can get. If you get a pitch to hit – don't miss it.
How has the defensive part of your game evolved?
Clint Naylor: Once again, I have worked on that in the offseason and the season. With the added size, it helps out. My reaction time is a lot better too. I might have put on weight but I kept my reaction as well. I can see the pitch down better. I can read it, react to it, and get in front of it better too.
My reaction is better – that helps out.
What are your focuses for the rest of the season?
Clint Naylor: Doing everything I possibly can, behind the plate, throwing runners out, blocking balls I should be blocking, hitting pitches I should be hitting – whether I get hits or not, as long as I hit the ball hard – that is what I am focused on.
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